Becoming Confident, But not Over Confident!
"Life is the sea, we are the ones sailing through in our boats.
Our boats look different but are being paddled by our confidence."
We live in a world that is both exciting and challenging. We have multiple benchmarks to reach, many people to admire and be like, many goals to achieve. In such a scenario, we all set our bars pretty high to reach! With the responsibilities of our goals come some setbacks. If we accept and move on from these positively, we might not have a problem with self-doubt. But that is not always possible, it is very (trust me, very!) common to have self-doubts due to different situations in our lives, as validate ourselves by these setbacks. thus making it hard to believe in our self. If this confidence is higher than necessary, it might lead us to never try better ways to improve and eventually limit growth thus limiting our full potential.
Let’s start by understanding why we sometimes are more confident and sometimes less?
The Dunning-Kruger effect: Under-confident or Overconfident?
When it comes to understanding the concept of confidence, an old psychological research study comes to my mind, the Dunning-Kruger Effect! It is one of the most relevant psychological ideas because it explains so much. Even if you have never heard of this effect, you would have definitely experienced it. The effect states, ‘the people who are least competent tend to be most sure of themselves, while those with genuine skills are frequently wracked with doubts about their abilities’, might not be the case all the time. One understanding we can draw is...
Simply, self-doubt is a mismatch between our understanding of our own abilities versus our actual competency!
It basically is an idea that most of us have got the wrong idea of our own actual competencies. We most often than not consider either that our competency is less than it actually is, or more than it actually is. This leads to under or overconfidence in people. Here are some ways to move from self-doubt to positive self-confidence!
Catch your inner monologue
Read your inner dialogues. Build an awareness of what is the thought process that you go through for your own self, it can be positive or negative self-dialogue! A thorough scan of your own beliefs and thoughts on your abilities, your acceptance and your analysis of yourself can be a good start to discover where you stand in the levels of self-confidence. Whether it is healthy or unhealthy!
Change to Positive Self-talk
After recognising the self monologue that you have, now we must tackle the self-talk. Recognise the self-talk, is it positive or negative? Recognised it? Now let’s Change it! In terms of low self-confidence, we often have a negative self-dialogue wherein we tell ourselves how something is too difficult to achieve for us when it actually is not. Let us refrain from negative self-talk. In cases of over-confidence, we forget to be realistic about our abilities. Now, this does not mean that we cannot fake it understand we make it. But what I mean is, when we avoid to tell ourselves about the real limitations that we possibly might need to work on. We fail to oversee our learning areas, thus limiting our self-growth and self-improvement.
Self-talk and Neuro-Linguistic Processing (NLP): NLP is a psychological phenomenon which believes that speaking can change our neural processing. Well, is that enough evidence on how self-talk is powerful!
Forgive but not forget
Forgive yourself for your failures. We often do not let ourselves move on from our failures and that builds up a belief that we might actually be not capable. But you must know that it is an exaggeration in your mind. Since you know your failures, let us use them as our resources to be better and to succeed the next time. This is what I mean by forgive and not forget.
Avoid maximising weaknesses
It is natural to focus on our weaknesses most often than not when we are under-confident. We must ‘consciously focus’ on our strengths and be ‘aware’ of our weakness to be able to work on them while gaining the mental strength through our strengths. And being aware of weakness keeps us grounded and helps us not be overconfident yet just the right level of confidence to believe in our selves.
Tracing our limiting beliefs
Identify the beliefs about yourself that are limiting you from being confident. Identify them, minimise them, and work your way through with the methods mentioned in this article.
Remember past successes
It helps to remember the times when you achieved something you wanted to by yourself. These times will help you get through the false self-beliefs and will help identify the limiting beliefs to work towards self-improvement. To avoid overconfidence, avoid maximising too much that you forget to work on your weaknesses.
Learn a new skill
This step is a magic trick! Do not believe me, try it! Learning has scientifically proven to be a key factor to help one gain confidence in their capabilities. When we learn a new skill, it can be as simple as cooking a dish we love, reading about new things, learning coding, a new painting technique, writing method, or the psychology of mindful living through ‘yours-kindly’ blog :p! Literally any new skill will make you feel good about yourself and build a sense of achievement and trust in your competency.
Do not be too hard on yourself
While building self-confidence, do not be too hard on yourself. Do not expect to erase self-doubt in a day or two. It is a journey that once you start you will one day wonder how you’ve become so confident and you believe in yourself without even realising. Let us kindly, consciously grow together!